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December 2, 2016     Post-Gazette
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December 2, 2016
 

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PAGE 10 POST-GAZETTE, DECEMBER 2, 2016 by,ohnchristoforo ![Rec,pos from t.o I Homeland I abb onno ] by Vita Orlando Sinopo i A Nostalgic Remenlbrance I I Here we are at the beginning of December. Seventy years ago, World War II had ended that summer and things calmed down for the Cqnfini/Christoforo family. Uncle Nick and Gino were on their ways home from serving in the Navy and Army Air Corps, respectively. Dad left the employ of the OSS, the forerunner to today's CIA. During the earlier part of the war, he interrogated Italian war prisoners who were housed on some of Boston's islands and at the closed immigration office on Marginal Street in East Boston. This was his part-time job two or three afternoons a week. Now he could concentrate on teaching machine shop at East Boston High School, coaching their football team along with a man named Bill McCarthy, and playing music five to six nights a week in downtown Boston. That December, seventy years ago, Mom, her friend Grace Manfredonia, and Mom's cousin Louise Pepe all decided to bring their kids to see Santa Claus. Santa Claus appeared at most of the downtown department stores during the Christmas season, but we kids knew that most of them were, in reality: Santa's helpers. The real Santa Claus could only be found at the toy department at Jordan Marsh. Raymond's and Gilchrist's Department Stores had Santas who would listen to the wishes of hundreds of kids during December. If I'm not mistaken, there was a 5 and 10 on Washington Street near Raymond's. It may have been a Kresge's, I'm not sure, but I remember that they had a Santa, too. His red suit was made out of corduroy, and when we kids saw the outfit, we refused to speak to the bearded old man wearing it. We insisted on continuing down Washington Street to Jordan Marsh. Filenes had the best window decorations for kids that Christmas--mannequins dressed like 19th century Bostonians, robotic toys that performed timed activities, and, of course, a display of electric trains. There were two major electric trains set companies back then, Lionel and American Flyer. Marx Toy Company also manufactured electric trains, but we kids considered them inferior to the other two brands. I had discussions with John Manfredonia, my childhood chum, regarding which brand was the best. He was going to ask Santa for American Flyer We kids insisted on looking elf was a kid's puzzle of the at the Filene's window displays, continents of the world. Without but only visiting the REAL knowingit, Ilearnedalotabout Santa, and he was located in the geography from the contents of Jordan Marsh toy department, that box. on the 5th floor of the downtown After the visit, we boys headed store, if I'm not mistaken, for the electric train display. Out of all the kids in tow, I have seen many of these my cousin Anthony Pepe, displays in my lifetime, but John Manfredonia and I none havebeen as extensive as were the oldest boys and we what Jordan Marsh put together banded together like a Roman in their 1940s toy department. Triumvirate and dictated to the I remember commenting to rest of the kids which trains John Manfredonia, "See, they were the best. Fred Manfredonia are Lionel, not American Flyer." and my cousin, Ralph Pepe were Once we were dragged away a couple of years younger and from the train display, we lured their opinions didn't matter. As the rest of the tribe toward the for the girls, my cousin Lulu display of airplane models. As Pepe and John's sister, Adelaide I mentioned, I loved to make Manfredonia; we ignored them model planes. Back then, they completely, weren't made out of plastic, Once inside Jordan Marsh, we they were wooden models, headed for the escalators that and the company I mentioned, ascended to each floor until we Strombecker, made them out arrived at the toy department, of hardwood and all of their Our mothers would look for the bombers and fighters were on line that formed to visit Santa display. My cousin Anthony and comment in Italian about Pepe headed for the science how long it was and how long display where chemistry we might have to wait before it sets and microscopes were was our turn. Before getting in displayed. Even at a young age, line, We boys were asked about he loved the idea of working needing to visit a bathroom first, with chemicals. Later in life, he When all biological problems would graduate Northeastern were solved, we headed for the University with a degree in line that queued tip to visit the chemical engineering. true Santa. My cousin Anthony While we boys were looking had a comment as we arrived at at the trains and plane models, the back of the line, "How come our mothers would hunt for the the girls never have to pee?" No girls who had headed to the doll one answered, but I could see department, something we boys the smirk on my mother's face, shunned without reserve. While and even at that young age, our mothers were gone, I would decided to be discreet and let lure the rest of the boys to a the matter die quietly, display that was taboo as far Well, it was finally our turn to as our parents were concerned, see Santa, and yes, he was the BB guns. Most were Daisy Red real one. He wore a red woolen Ryder lever action BB rifles. A suit trimmed in fur, had on more expensive model, a pump black boots that were shined action rifle, would be displayed and sported a real beard, not with the lever action, but those one of those phony ones that "cowboy guns~ were something were held on by curved handles we dreamed of for when we that wrapped around your ears. were older. When it was time He was the real Santa. Just to leave, our mothers would before we reached Santa's lap, walk us back up Washington an elf would hand us a wrapped Street, past Scollay Square onto present. Our mothers would Hanover Street, past the Casino, have to pay for these, but it a burlesque theater and into the was Christmas season and no North End to have lunch. At one cared, the restaurant, we boys would When Imadeit to Santa's lap, discuss our observations of I asked him for Lionel trains, the day and leave out anything an Erector Set with an electric related to BB guns. We had to motor, a chemistry set with a be very careful. microscope, and a Strombecker model of a B29. Even at that GOD BLESS AMERICA early age, I loved making model planes from World War II. Santa told me that I asked for a lot of things, but he would see what he could do. That was enough for me: I knew that the base of our Christmas tree would be invisible due to all of the things I asked for. Later in Stirpe Nostra (Continued from Page 2) constructing these roads is estimated to have been about five thousand dollars per mile, and this is less than one percent of today's' cost. and I hoped to obtain trains the day, I would discover that The degree of perfection and produced by Lionel the wrapped present from the the structural philosophy prac- ticed by these road-builders ' remained valid for about two -- FOR YOU WHO APPRECIATE THE FINEST-- thousand years, and was sur- passed only with the develop- THE ment of our modem reinforced ~~ concrete. Most of these roads and many of the bridges are still in use today. Many of them have been widened and resur- MUSIC FOR ALL OCCASIONS 781-648-5678 faced with asphalt or concrete, but the base is still there, built to last for years and years and years. Just like our express- ways???? NEXT ISSUE: Roman Villas "ka-sa-ted ee" A Sicilian Christmas Ricotta Cheese Turnover I pound container ricotta cheese 1/2 teaspoon sugar 2 cupsflour Pinch of salt 1 tablespoon orange rind Pinch of cinnamon (optional) 3/4 cups water 2 cups cooking oil 1 tablespoons red wine Additional granulated sugar 1/4 cup shortening or 10-inch Teflon skillet margarine Place.ricotta cheese in a colander to drain. Put flour in ten-inch bowl. Cut in shortening with knife and fork. Add sugar and salt. Mix while adding water slowly. Before using all water, work red wine into'mixture. (Wine causes dough to bubble when fried.) Continue mixing dough until it holds together and all flour is used. Knead dough to a smooth consistency. Separate into three portions. Roll each into a long piece. Cut roll into smaller portions approximately one-inch thick. Place in bowl and cover. Transfer drained ricotta into bowl. Add orange rind, cinnamon and mix thoroughly by hand. With rolling pin, roll ehch piece of dough into paper-thin rounds. Place a.tablespoon of ricotta in center of dough. Fold over (like turnovers). Press lightly around filling to allow inside air to escape. Then seal edges with crinkled pastry cutter or prehs edge with fork. Set aside on pastry cloth or a flour-dusted tablecloth. Makes about twenty-four Cassattedi. Pour enough oil in a ten-inch Teflon skillet to cover bottom, Prick top of 6 Cassattedi at a time (with a pin) before placing in hot oil top down. When frying, turn each one with spatula until golden brown on both sides. When any ricotta or fluid escapes into the hot oil, the liquid will splatter and burn, Remove Cassattedi from oil. Clean skillet. Add and heat new oil and continue frying remaining Cassattedi. Place fried Cassattedi in a serving platter layered with granulated sugar. Sprinkle additional sugar on each one. Serve hot or cooled. Leftover Cassattedi must be refrigerated. The Friends of Richard Cardinal J. Cushing Memorial Park, Inc. West End Christmas Tree Lighting Richard Cardinal J. Cushing, and to honor Mary Romano. This tree will be blessed by Reverend Joseph M. White of St. Joseph's Church, West End and Beacon Hill, with the choirs of St. Joseph's and the Cardi- nal Cushing Center's School of Hanover, MA, and the Eastwood Productions duo providing the music indoors, plus a visit from Santa., Saturday December 3rd, at 6:00 pm, at One Bowdoin Square and Cambridge Street, held indoors and outdoors. Call Norman, your host, about free parking at 617-869-7001. Norman Herr invites you to attend the 2Pt Annual Christ- mas Tree Blessing and lighting of our newly planted concolor fir tree, a "forever tree" dedicated to the memory of Danielle B. Stanwood and Zoey (the cat) of the West End, his Eminence Loved Ones , ..... . The Post-Gazette accepts memorials throughout the year. Please call 617-227-8929 LEGAL NOTICE Commonwealth of Massachusetts The Trial Court Probate and Family Court Middlesex Division 208 ~Cambrldge Street Cambridge, MA 02141 (61.7) 768-5800 Docket No. MI16P5782EA Estate of WILLIAM LESTER CROWLEY, JR Also Known As BILL CROWLEY Date of Death March 23, 2006 INFORMAL PROBATE PUBLICATION NOTICE To all persons interested in the above captioned estate, by Petition of Petitioner William L. Crowley, III of Paragould, AR. William L. Crcwley, III of Paragould, AR has been informally appointed as the Personal Representative of the estate to sen/e without surety on the bond. The estate is being administered under informal procedure by the Personal Represen- tative under the Massachusetts Uniform Pro- bate Code without supe~sion by the Court. Inventory and accounts are not required to be filed with the Court, but interested pa~es are entitled to notice regarding the administration from the Personal Representative and can petition the Court in any matter relating to the estate, including distribution of assets and expenses of administration. Interested parties are entitled to petition the Court to institute formal proceedings and to obtain orders ter- minating or restricting the powers of Personal Representatives appointed under informal pro- cedure. A copy of the Petition and Will, if any, can be obtained from the Petitioner. Run date: 12/2/16